Opinion: How my best friends have shaped my life


Courtesy photos provided by Karol Woodward.

A young Sydney Woodward and McKenzie Dickerson pose sitting on one of the lions of Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo.

Sydney Woodward, Co-Editor-In-Chief

The definition of best friend is a person’s closest friend, but the word means so much more. A best friend is someone who will laugh at your awful jokes, offer unconditional love and support, make you smile when you’re down, and accept you for who you are.

I’ve have had my ups and downs with friendship in general. When I was younger, I wouldn’t stay in a place for more than five years so it was hard to make and actually keep friends.

When I was 3, I met my first best friend. His name was Nicholas Ray Cooper. I remember this distinctly because, for whatever reason, I always called him by his full name and I honestly don’t know why considering he only called me Sydney.

A year later, I met my second best friend in another pre-K class with Nick. His name was Cameron. He was a year younger than me and he was super cute. The cutest human being I had met up to that point, with chubby cheeks and dimples that made him look like a chipmunk.

The three of us became inseparable — until I moved to a new school. After that, I didn’t see Nick anymore and I only saw Cameron at family events at pre-K since my mom was a teacher there. At age 11, I moved to Texas and haven’t see him since.

I didn’t stay in that kindergarten for too long to make any friends really. After kindergarten, I moved to a really small town in the middle of nowhere in Illinois and I met my best friend Tyler.

He thought he was a vampire who wanted to make me his vampire bride and almost bit me on the neck once.

However, at the end of the year, he told me he was moving and gave me his phone number. But I lost the number and never saw him again.

This is where I met my first girl best friend Shannon (also my best friend McKenzie went here for kindergarten but I didn’t know her then.). Shannon was really helpful during second grade for me because my mom had cancer around this time and her family helped take care of me. Though looking back on it she was kind of a brat.

I had so many friends who came and went too quickly to notice that I never experienced true staying friendship like those you see in movies.   

However, the summer before fourth grade, I met my first best friend-for-life McKenzie. She moved into the apartment building across from me so we would talk while I was on my patio and she was on her balcony. She has always been like my sister and I never saw her as someone younger than me.

She was my equal. She is the one friend from Illinois I actually know what’s going on with.

She’s currently a sophomore in high school and is in marching band.

I moved to Kingwood a week into middle school and it didn’t really go well.

I was homesick. I wanted McKenzie to be next door and I wanted decent pizza.

However, I did meet Ashlee and Mollee. They were so understanding about me being homesick unlike some of my classmates who just wrote me off as a baby. However I never quite felt at home with them as I did with McKenzie. That changed one year later.

In October of seventh grade, I met my second best-friend-for-life. Her name is Ana.

I had a place as her best friend. Granted she moved here from Mexico and barely knew any English but that didn’t stop me from making friends with her.

Flash forward to senior year and I’m still best friends with her. She understands how I am and why I do things the way I do them. She may question them at first but once she gets used to it she’s like “It’s Sydney. That’s what she does.”

Last year, I met my third and final best-friend-for-life (for now) named Maddy. She was our newspaper editor-in-chief last year and I honestly looked up to her like a big sister.

She helped me become a better journalist and comforted me in times of stress like when my golden retriever died last year or when I was terrified that I wouldn’t pass AP U.S. History. I still talk to her over text while she’s attending University of North Texas.  

I may be a senior now but I’m still making best friends. My latest are  Audrey and Caden. They have been so nice to me and helped me with the stress in my life. Audrey is always there to remind me to breathe (which usually ends up with one of us coughing and/or laughing) and Caden is there to make me laugh when he starts “fighting” with Audrey.

A big part of me wishes I could have stayed closer with Nick, Cameron, and Tyler. (Not Shannon though. She can just be added to the short list of people I eternally throw shade on for the rest of my life for all I care.)  

However, I do still talk to McKenzie every other day, Ashlee I see around sometimes, Mollee moved to New Caney at the end of sophomore year, Ana I talk to everyday, Maddy I text every other day, and Audrey and Caden I see everyday except Thursday in Algebra.

I honestly hope all of them are doing well in their lives right now, even Shannon.

I just hope I can reach out to any of them one day (except maybe Shannon) and they will be there for me if I need them.